According to NTIA data, over 80% of Americans are concerned about their privacy and security while browsing the internet. For many of these people, finding valuable solutions that can help improve their digital security posture while reducing their overall digital footprint is front-of-mind.
>Read my list of the best niches for affiliate marketing
VPN services are those solutions. In fact, 25% of people are already using a VPN to access the internet, and that number is increasing daily. With thousands of VPN solutions on the market, finding a reliable service can be a nightmare. This is where affiliates come into play. By becoming a VPN affiliate, people can market VPN solutions AND make some decent money while they’re at it.
Here’s how to do it.
Understanding VPN Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are marketing programs that pay people for every referral they send to a business. In other words, affiliate programs are used by companies to pay people money for every person they convince to join the business. So, if someone was to join a VPN affiliate program, they would receive money for every person that they convinced to join the VPN company. Usually, this money is in the form of a commission (e.g., 30% of the sale)
The three-step process works something like this:
- The affiliate recommends a VPN service
- The affiliate’s readers/followers/friends click the link to the VPN and purchase a monthly subscription
- The affiliate gets paid
Here are some of the core steps that people should take if they want to get involved in affiliate marketing.
Step 1: Choose a VPN
Obviously, people will want to choose a VPN that offers an affiliate program. Luckily, the majority of them have some sort of affiliate program. After all, 30% of ALL digital marketing leads are generated by affiliates. So, there aren’t too many businesses that don’t offer an affiliate program.
The trick is finding a good VPN affiliate program. As you can see, VPNs like Surfshark have notoriously high referral commission payouts.
We recommend aiming for a commission bonus of at least 30% — though some services (like Surfshark) go up to the 40 – 50% range.
Step 2: Create a Blog
People can affiliate market through social media, but it’s not a good idea. Most social platforms have rules against affiliate links, and it can be hard to generate sustainable income when back-end control of the marketing platform isn’t maintained. Sure! Websites cost a few bucks to set up.
But, most affiliate marketers live and die on their blogs. We’re not just talking about a few people here. There are over a hundred thousand affiliate marketers out there. And they pull in over $700 million per year. That’s big money. So, the initial website investment can yield massive returns.
Here’s what people need to get their first website on-the-ground.
- Domain name: The first step involves deciding on the website’s name. This is really a matter of personal taste — though it will certainly have an impact on the overall marketing posture. Websites like Godaddy and Ionos (formerly 1and1) are cheap and reputable.
- Host: Now that the domain has been obtained, it’s time to select a host. The host stores the website and keeps it up-and-running for visitors. Again, there are plenty of options when it comes to hosting services. The important thing is to choose one that has the right price range, features, and usability.
- CMS: Content Management Systems (CMS) are used to organize, manage, and create websites. Popular ones include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Step 3: Create Content
Content is the secret sauce that makes affiliate marketing work. Blogging may be the top priority for over 50% of marketers. But, it’s a top priority for almost 100% of affiliate marketers. Here’s the secret — you can’t just start creating blogs about “how to use VPNs” and “why you need a VPN.” To really sell a service, you have to be an evangelist of that service. People can’t market a VPN without knowing how it works fully. It will sound fake, and the entire website will feel… salesy. And no one likes feeling like they’ve been sold to.
Everyone should personally sign up for the VPN that they are trying to market to people as an affiliate marketer. Once they do, they can start putting out content about that VPN that’s honest, original, and meaningful. What’s great about it? Why would anyone use it? What does it do differently? Those questions can lead to some great articles. But don’t be afraid to get niche with the content. How can people use VPNs to watch foreign Netflix films? Can a VPN help them bypass their workplace firewall? Figure out why people want to use a VPN and make compelling content that they actually want to read.
Then, simply plug the affiliate link in every time that the content mentions the name “Surfshark,” and if anyone clicks and signs up, the affiliate provider pays out! Most affiliate programs have a minimum cashout number. But once the content ball gets rolling, visitors will eventually come. And when they do, there’s serious money to be made.
Step 4: Create an Unfair Advantage
Once a website and an affiliate marketing provider are obtained, it’s time to start making some cash. But what makes this website different than the other +100,000 affiliate marketers’ websites? There needs to be an unfair advantage. Affiliate marketers should figure out what they do better than anyone else, and leverage that to separate themselves from the pack.
That could be writing better content that’s more creative. Or it could be the ability to dive deep into data and discover new, fresh, original ways to convince and convert users. It could even be the ability to stay organized and put out lots of content consistently.
Bloggers, marketers, and entrepreneurs who are looking for a way to make some additional money on the side or those looking to quit their job and work-from-home should consider affiliate marketing. Picking a niche like VPNs is a smart way to immediately make a dent in the marketing pool. Tons of people use them, they have high affiliate payouts, and there is plenty to write about them.